Mother and baby are doing great!
A critically endangered Western chimpanzee has been born at Chester Zoo this week, with the zoo reporting that 43-year-old mum, Mandy, and baby are doing well.
The species, which are the first chimpanzee subspecies to join the list of critically endangered apes, has only 18,000 of their kind left in the wild today – making the birth a huge moment for Primate experts.
Mike Jordan, Animal & Plant Director at the zoo, has said of the birth: “We’re incredibly proud to see a precious new baby in the group – it’s a hugely significant addition and a big boost for this species. The chimpanzees here at Chester are a key part of the international efforts working to ensure there’s a viable safety-net population of these critically endangered animals.
“In the wild, the Western chimpanzee is under huge threat from hunting, the illegal bush meat trade and extensive habitat loss – all a result of human activity. Western chimpanzee populations have declined extremely quickly and continue to do so – with little or no prospect of this decline halting. It makes the conservation populations in zoos extremely important for the future.
“In tandem with the endangered species breeding programme, involving many of the world’s most progressive zoos, our conservation teams are working alongside our partners in Uganda, Nigeria and Gabon to help protect chimpanzees and their forest homes.”
Chester Zoo is currently home to over 35,000 animals, many of which are endangered in the wild, and actively participates in conversation work globally to help prevent the extinction of endangered species.